I wasn’t sure about doing another post about my latest experience at BlogOnMSI. As with my Icebreaker, this isn’t the first time I have been to these conferences and I have done posts in the past, but I figure that somebody may stumble upon this blog, see this post and feel inspired to attend BlogOn themselves one day.
Before I get to the day itself, it might be worth a little history lesson.
BlogOn was founded by Laura Seaton, the blogger behind the successful Tired Mummy of Two blog. Started in 2012, the first ever BlogOn conference was a huge success with 70 bloggers in attendance. It continued to grow and in 2015 it held an ambitious three events hitting Manchester, Cardiff and Winchester. In 2016 it settled into its home at the museum of Science and Industry and along with its usual conference in May, it was followed by a Christmas themed BlogOnXmas in September.
The BlogOn Conference gives brands the opportunity to meet bloggers by being in the brand area, sponsoring a session or by putting a product into the fabulous goody bags. It also gives bloggers of all genres the chance to learn in a friendly and relaxed environment. The sessions at each conference are planned based on the attendees and we try to make each and every session interactive and open to debate. From 70 attendees in 2012, I believe there was 200 people this year which is still a relatively small conference.
So that’s the history lesson done with, let’s get onto the day.
In usual DWB style I set off late and along with a combination of average speed cameras and people who don’t know how to drive on a motorway, I arrived a little later than I had hoped. It turned out to not make a difference as we were not allowed into the museum until 10am, so it meant less waiting time.
I met up with my blogging buddy Rachel from itssjustmeandmylife.com who promised to keep me company all day. When I am in small groups I manage, but when I know I am going to be in a large group such as this, I get anxious so it was great to have somebody to keep me afloat and stop me drowning in a sea of much superior bloggers.
The first talk was from the brains behind BlogOn Laura, whose tips and advice for ‘Shite I Gotta Get Done” was a great way to start the conference and it got lots of heads nodding and I could see lots of pens wiggling away as people made notes. This was followed by the first session. I chose to go to ‘Working with brands with Duncan Murray, Ruth Jackson & Laura Seaton‘. I have worked with brands in the past but it’s something I want to do with more regularity.
Lunch was provided in the form of a little pack up. After turning my nose up at egg and at Tuna, I saw one cheese and pickle and made a beeline for it. Luckily nobody was hurt in my endeavour for the pickled goodness as people know never to get in the way of a fat man and food. Wise choice people, wise choice.
Next up was session two. I actually skipped this session to speak to the brands that had attended and find a bank machine as I had forgotten to go to the bank earlier and I needed some cash for the amazing raffle and tombola stand. Don’t be afraid, you can go to BlogOn and not spend another penny. All tea/coffee and water is provided so other than the obvious ticket/travel/parking, there’s nothing you NEED to spend money on, but every year the raffle and tombola helps raise funds for great causes, so it is great to buy a few tickets.
This year the money raised went to the newly formed ‘BlogOn Community Fund’. After helping individual bloggers in the past, the fund was created to try to help more bloggers who need help. To find more information about the BlogOn Community Fund, check out the website.
I kind of wished I’d gone to the ‘WordPress with Zoe Corkhill‘ session but I missed out. I did see a guy from the Manchester version of Anonymous protesting something which wasn’t very clear so ya know…that was different.
Session three was a mix of two sessions. I started in the ‘Advanced blogging shite’with Jax Blunt’ but that seemed more of an interactive session where we asked questions and as we discussed earlier, me and big groups don’t bode well so I slid out the door and into ‘Instagram to instabank with Harriet Shearsmith‘ Now I’m not about to start earning money from Instagram, but I would like to build a following and Harriets’ session did help with a few questions I had and taught me I should be doing things a little different.
Session four was ‘Accounting for Bloggers with Dawn Brown‘ I’ll be honest I didn’t learn a great deal in this session but it was a great way for me to know that what I am doing is already on the right track. I don’t really do a great deal of stuff with my blog which involves money so it’s not something I really struggle with. After all when it comes to blogging, The Notorious B.I.G was right..Mo Money, Mo Problems!
So that was BlogOn 2017. After a short speech from Laura thanking her amazing team, who are indeed amazing, it was time to collect the ‘World’ famous BlogOn goodie bags and go home. The goodie bags are always well stocked with freebies from brands that attended event and others that didn’t. It’s clear that a lot of effort goes into putting the bags together and when you are advised to bring a family sized suitcase to carry it all, you know they mean serious business.
If you’re a blogging pro, or a blogging beginner, I can not recommend BlogOn highly enough. It’s informative, fun and with it being on the small side it’s friendly and not too daunting. The next event is already sold out, but you can be added to the waiting list and you will be notified if any tickets become available.
Thanks for reading and maybe I will see you at the Next BlogOn!